Thursday, June 7, 2012

Banana Walnut Cake

This is what tends to happen. I buy a bunch of bananas. I don't like bananas all that much and then Rich forgets to eat them (even though they are sitting right there on the counter) and then I look over and realize I have a bunch of blackened bananas! I've had a couple banana cake recipes in the past, but always have trouble remembering where they are. I think I've done this one before baked in two 9 inch round pans but as I was taking this to share at the old folks home I decided to do it in a large baking pan (I love this thing -came with a lid!) Anyway - it was a big hit and this icing really makes it special. I had a bit of icing left over so I think it would be enough to do the 2 layer cake too. Now I just have to think of something small to bake to put my extra icing on... may just have to settle for what my mom did when I was a kid - make icing sandwiches with graham crackers!

Banana Walnut Cake serves 14-16

2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 and 1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2 and 1/4 cups cake flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons of each: baking powder, baking soda and salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 and 1/4 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Penuche Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixer cream the shortening with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. In a smallish bowl mix up the flour with the powder, soda and salt using a whisk. Add that to the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk until it is incorporated. Stir in the bananas, vanilla and 2/3 cup of the walnuts. Pour into a buttered and floured pan and cook about 30-35 min until springy and browned on top. Let cool completely. If using a single sheet pan leave it and just frost the top, if you did it in 2 round pans remove them and then frost them both - you could even do the middle layer with some sliced bananas.

Frosting: in a small saucepan melt the butter and add the brown sugar, bring to a boil and let bubble for 2 min stirring constantly. Add the milk and continue to stir while it cooks another min or two. Remove to a mixer bowl and let cool completely. Add salt and vanilla and then beat in the powdered sugar until it's creamy and spreadable but pretty thick. Frost your cake then sprinkle with walnuts on top.

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